Tag Archives: symptoms

Is this brain fog, or am I just a ditz?


Only time will tell. If I get sharper in a few months’ time—blame the gluten. If not—I’m just a bit dopey. Until it all becomes clear (or doesn’t), I’m thinking of keeping a fog log alongside my food log. Otherwise, I’ll look back and never remember all the things I forgot.

Here’s last week’s, for example.

Monday morning: Shot off an email saying, “I’ll take a look and get back to you by no later than this afternoon.”

Monday night, already in bed: “…Oh, crap.”

Tuesday morning: Left stack of unread submissions sitting on my desk instead of packing them to read on the train before work.

Wednesday morning: Reminded myself not to do the same thing again.

Wednesday morning, two minutes later: Did the same thing again.

Thursday morning: Ran coffee maker without any water.

Thursday afternoon: Forgot how to spell indispensible. Looked it up. Still can’t remember.

Friday night: Received this text: “Molly, where are you?” Realized only then that I’d forgotten to show up for an event that I had suggested attending in the first place.

Saturday: Remembered a long string of things I’d meant to do during business hours that week: Schedule eye doctor appointment. Schedule dentist appointment. Return library books. Get medical records sent to new doctor’s office. Go to post office to ask about package I never received. In January. Look into copay bill my doctor’s office claims I still owe. Since December.

Sunday morning: Ran coffee maker without any coffee.

Sunday evening: Took G train to Carroll Street to transfer to the Manhattan-bound F. Instead, got back on the G and went three stops back in the direction I’d just come from before realizing my error.

Brain fog is a funny symptom because, unlike certain others, it’s tough to tell when it’s even happening, much less what precisely is causing it. Am I just not sleeping well enough, perhaps? Or do I just have too many things going on to keep them all straight? Was I always this way, or did my forgetfulness start up a few years ago along with my other symptoms? Strangely enough…I can’t seem to remember.

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Villi or von’t I feel better today?

I probably von’t, though I really can’t say.

shrugging md

One of my favorite things to hate about celiac is how slow-going recovery is. A lot of studies, like this one, check in with people after 6 months on the gluten-free diet (GFD), and (most) people feel (mostly) better by then (though most studies don’t say how people felt in between). Jules Dowler Shepard suggests 3 to 6 months for “younger people” and up to 2 years for “older adults.”

I know, I know, healthy intestines, like Rome, aren’t built in a day. But it’s a bit of a bummer that people without diagnoses are going gluten-free left and right and claiming miraculous, instantaneous improvements to their quality of life, while I’m chugging along clutching my GFD prescription and hoping I’m doing it right.

Back in the spring, I tried the ole GFD for about six weeks and observed no real difference. Did I do some stuff wrong? Yup. Did I do most stuff right? Yup. I assumed I didn’t have celiac but figured I’d go back on gluten and get tested anyway. Blood test, biopsy, and oh hey, I do have it. Awesome. This time around, I’m correcting my errors, and I’m trying the no-oats (even “pure”) and no-lactose thing. I cut out drinking, too, just in case it helps—though this has left my friends most displeased. Coffee…oh God, I just, can’t. Yet.

By the way: A lot of research is done on why people don’t adhere to the GFD. Personally, I think an online database of average length of GFD prior to various symptoms improving would be helpful. Like, type your symptom here to find that X percent of people with anemia see resolution after X months, and X percent of people with depression see resolution after X months. Knowing you’ve still got Y weeks or months left to go until you hit the average resolution date would help fortify you, and knowing you’ve already passed the average could prompt you to go to your doctor to discuss the possibility of other complications. I could get back so many hours of my life devoted to Google searching if I had such a reference.

In the meantime, I’ve settled on July 29th, precisely six months from diagnosis, as the magical date upon which I anticipate all of my symptoms will fade away like brain fog off a windshield, or disappear in a puff of hydrogen sulfide. Until then…

Knowing what ails me is making me happy,
But other than that I feel utterly crappy.

Hope you and yours are feeling vell as ve head into the veekend (a long one, for us Americans). One last assignment for this veek: If you have celiac, how long did it take you to feel better? Did you have to throw in any “add-ons” to your gluten-free diet?

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